Huffpost Healthy Living
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Walter E. Jacobson, M.D. Headshot

To Thine Own Bucket List Be True

Posted: Updated:

People want to make the most out of their lives. Duh. What I find fascinating is the underlying assumption that, in order to make the most out of our lives, we must attempt daring and bold feats of power and passion.

Here's the point: What if that isn't true? What if "making the most out of our lives" isn't about amassing more experiences that glorify the body and fan the flame of ego and self-satisfaction?

What if our spirit, our consciousness, our soul, is immortal, invulnerable and eternal? And that our only purpose for being here is to understand that we are all one, we are all connected, that we must "love ye one another?" That there is nothing else to do, nothing else to amass or nothing else to accomplish? If that's the case, are we really making the best use of our remaining time here by doing more rather than being more?

Point being: A bucket list is nice. Perhaps a spiritual bucket list is better.

I suggest that for every bucket list entry we make of something physical we wish to accomplish, we also include one entry of something spiritual we wish to achieve. So now the question becomes, "What might we put on that list?"

We might choose to engage in behaviors that could awaken us to truths that have been hidden from our consciousness by our drive for material and physical mastery and control. Perhaps:

  • A six month program of daily meditation and/or yoga.
  • A six month program of abstinence from alcohol and drugs.
  • A six month program of vegetarianism or veganism.
  • A six month program of reading spiritual, consciousness-raising materials.

We might choose to engage in behaviors that unite us rather than divide us by finding:

  • Ways to see the good in people despite the negative things they've done.
  • Ways to forgive people we've refused to forgive.
  • Ways to repair a relationship that has been damaged or broken.

Perhaps it would behoove us to put on the list:

  • Ways to be more of a role model of right action.
  • Ways to be more of an achiever of good works that promote communication, compassion, peace, cooperation, prosperity and well-being for all.
  • Ways to be more of service to others by giving our money, time and energy to the causes and needs of others without any regard for acknowledgment, thanks, compensation or consideration of any kind.

Perhaps each of us, as we compile our bucket list prior to heading off to that great big google in the sky, should remind ourselves of what Horace Mann once said: "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity."

From Our Partners